I thought since I’ve been promoting my Getting Featured on Blogs Workshop, a nice complement to that might be sharing some tips on how to successfully advertise on blogs. Both advertising and public relations should be a part of a successful marketing strategy. The two work together to promote your brand to current and future customers. One without the other, is a little like rowing a boat with only one paddle…you would get somewhere, but probably only find yourself going in circles.
So, since my Getting Featured on Blogs Workshop is all about the public relations part of the equation, I thought I might share some tips on advertising as well.
9 Tips for Advertising on Blogs
1. What kind of traffic does the blog get?
Any blog worth advertising on will share their statistics with you if asked. Many blogs (like mine) include some basic stats on their rate sheet. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for proof either (like a screen shot), it’s your money. Blogs may use Google Analytics, Awstats or some other tool for collecting stats.
In addition, tools like Alexa, Technorati, Compete & Google Pagerank can be useful in evaluating traffic. These sites alone aren’t enough to evaluate a blog’s worthiness of advertising on, but it can help you in your decision making.
Here’s Indie Fixx’s Technorati page as a reference for you.
Also, do a Google search for the blog’s name. If the whole 1st page is not full of links to the blog or mentions of the blog on other sites, maybe it’s not getting enough search engine traffic and therefore not a good advertising choice.
2. Know the lingo.
Make you sure understand what the terms unique visitors, pageviews, page rank & more before you go asking for stats. You need to know what the numbers mean, so spend some time looking stuff up on the wikipedia 1st.
3. Make sure your ad pops.
There is no point in advertising if your banner isn’t going to attract eyeballs…or worse, turn people away. Ask for impartial opinions about your banner from friends and colleagues. Consider getting a banner made for you if your a graphic designs skills aren’t the best.
In my experience, animated banners perform better, but not all blogs allow them.
4. Plan an advertising campaign.
Truthfully, one banner ad placed for one month on one blog, is not necessarily going to be the most effective. It’s better to plan an advertising campaign where you advertise on several sites over an expended period of time. Remember, the more people who see your ads, the more people will be clicking on them. And more importantly, the more times shoppers see your shop the more likely they are to buy!
Now it may be that one banner on one blog for one month is all you can afford, and if that’s the case, remember that everyone had to start small!
5. Even better, follow up some free press with an advertising campaign.
Even better than an advertising campaign is following up some free press with an advertising campaign or vice versa, When planning an ad campaign, definitely do approach blogs and about featuring your products and shops. If you don’t think your skills are up for this, consider taking an e-course like my Getting Featured on Blogs Workshop!
6. Make sure the audience fits your goods.
Obviously, if you make purses it’s generally not a good idea to advertise on a street bike racing blog. But even in the world of craft & design blogs, you want to make sure that the blog’s target audience matches with your products. And remember, the blog content is important, but so is the look & feel of the blog.
7. Cheap is not necessarily a good thing.
Just because it’s dirt cheap to advertise on a specific site or through a specific service does not necessarily mean it’s a good buy. Sometimes it’s just better to save your money.
8. Think about the timing.
Obviously the winter holiday season is an important time to advertise, but so are other holidays. For Valentine’s Day, Halloween & Mother’s Day I always see an increase in traffic & searches on Indie Fixx. Certain times throughout the year can be more effective times to advertise as well…back to school is one.
It’s also important to keep yourself visible. You don’t only want to advertise during the winter shopping season, but you want to get people looking at your shop in the summer to increase your chances of them buying from you in November.
9. It’s not only about the click-through (when consumers ‘click’ on an ad).
Remember what I wrote about the more times people see your shop, the more likely they are to buy? Well, it’s also true that the more times shoppers see your banner, the more likely they will click on it. So, when evaluating an ad’s effectiveness you need to consider how many people saw your ad in addition to how many clicked on it. The pageviews or impressions of the page that your ad appeared on is a good way to evaluate this.